Stitched Up

31.01.2015

nas-livrarias-presente-futuro-Stitched-Up

 

Stitched Up: The Anti-Capitalist Book of Fashion by Tansy E. Hoskins.

This book deconstructs the fashion industry thread by thread, delving into the world of fashion to reveal what is really at the core of the clothes we wear every day. Although Hoskins appears to disapprove of the industry throughout this polemic, displaying its social consequences- from workers conditions to environmental costs – she also says that she finds fashion glorious and enthralling. “For every critical word in this book there exists a beautifully handcrafted item that captures the spirit of its time.” It is with this ardour for fashion that Hoskins has the ability to criticise the industry while maintaining a positive view on the art of fashion as a whole.

While exploring the negative impacts that the industry has on society, Hoskins doesn’t only focus on the mistreatment of factory workers, which we so often hear about in the media, but also other industry workers such as models, as well as the general public. “Why does size zero exist?” she asks, looking at the pressures that are placed on models in the industry, which in turn create the ideals which every day women strive to achieve. She explores the harsh racism which is prevalent in the industry and questions why there aren’t more models of colour on magazine covers, catwalks and in advertisements?

Through examples from Primark to Prada, Hoskins reveals the monopolisation that is evident in the fashion industry. Many brands which the general public would think are competitors are in fact owned by a select few multi-national companies who often invest in both high street and high-end fashion labels. What is interesting about this book is how the author places brands from both ends of the spectrum side by side. She doesn’t differentiate between the two but explains how they rely on each other. High street labels will imitate high fashion designs, while high fashion houses rely on the high street to popularise their brand. Fashion is described in this book as a social production.

Full of facts and figures, Hoskins exposes the fortunes that lie within the fashion industry. Moving swiftly back and forth through history she examines how fashion got to the place it is in today. She exposes intricate details of the trade. For example she states how “many products are made in China and then ‘finished’ in Italy, a tactic which allows its origins to be disguised”.

The books final aim is to promote reform within the industry. In the final three chapters – Resisting Fashion, Reforming Fashion, and Revolutionising Fashion – she offers positive suggestions for a revolution against capitalism in the fashion industry. Always intriguing, and a compelling insight into an industry which often appears to be hidden beneath many layers this book is well worth a read for anyone interested, or working, in the fashion industry.

Síomha Connolly.

*This book review was published by Tabitha Magazine see http://lovetabii.com/2014/09/30/book-review-stitched-up/ for more.

Pressing Pause on Reality

09.01.2015

Diptych copyDSCF7332copyDiptych copy2| Jumper and Trousers Zara | Scarf Acne Studios | Old Skool Skate Vans | Céline Trio bag | Necklace Topshop |

What to wear when all you want to do is stay in bed? This Zara two piece knit is my new go-to comfort outfit. Getting back into the swing of things after the Christmas holidays has been harder than I imagined and an outfit like this makes getting out of bed that little bit easier. It’s always hard getting back into your routine after a break and I haven’t exactly welcomed college back with open arms this week. I’ve kind of decided to unofficially give myself an extra few days to relax and am going to get back on track starting from Monday- no excuses! Today I went for a lovely walk in Howth and the light was so beautiful I had to stop and take some outfit pictures. You may have seen my previous styling of this outfit on Instagram (http://instagram.com/p/xCCn-xrkf1/?modal=true) where I wore it with heels and some sparkly details for Christmas day. This two piece is so versatile, it can look just as good paired with my trusty canvas vans and my acne studios lambswool scarf for some extra warmth. The perfect casual, cosy outfit for a winter’s day walk. I hope everyone’s 2015 is off to a more productive start than mine, and if you’re still in holiday mode like I am then enjoy it while it lasts!

Síomha.

Flareway to Heaven

07.01.2015

Untitled-1Images from Style.com Marni SS15 Show.

I’ve been playing around with ‘70s style shapes for a while now so the resurgence of this era’s fashion is something I’m looking forward to come spring. Although I’m not usually one to let trends dictate my wardrobe choices it does mean that there is more availability of certain types of clothing once a certain trend gets pushed to the forefront of the fashion stage. It can, however, have a negative effect, as soon everyone begins to look like clones of each other but I think once you put your own individual twist on them, you can make ‘trend pieces’ work within your wardrobe. The most important thing when bringing a trend into your wardrobe is to introduce particular elements of it, it’s very easy to go overboard. So, for the purpose of this post I’ll be focusing solely on 1970s style flared trousers.

As much as I try to be selective with my clothing purchases sometimes it’s just easier to go into a high street shop and pick out that one piece that encompasses everything (or almost everything) you’ve been looking for. Over the next few months we are going to be seeing an abundance of flared trousers and jeans which is going to make the trend really accessible to many high street shoppers. Although the high street is often the easy option, I do thoroughly enjoy finding little treasures in charity shops or one-off sales that no one else will have, even if I have to get them altered to make them work. There’s something really special about knowing that no one else will have the same piece as you, even if that does sound a little bit selfish! Take for example my off-white/high-waisted/wide-legged trousers -the trousers of (my) dreams- I found them in a charity shop last summer for €6, yes €6! (You can see them on my Instagram here: http://instagram.com/p/wBqBc_rkZK/?modal=true and here: http://instagram.com/p/sp7w3yrkR-/?modal=true )

Now to be fair they weren’t perfect when I found them, well they may have been perfect for someone with a size 14 waist, but not for me, I had to have them altered to fit my shape but they turned out to be better than I imagined. They sit high on the waist with the perfect amount of flare at the end. They maintain a sophisticated shape while still allowing for the option to be styled in a more relaxed way, which is my aim for this spring. In the forthcoming months I’ll be pairing my bargain pants with loose, flowing tops, a platform shoe, and a neck scarf or kimono belt á la Marni, to hit that 1970s nail on the head.

The Marni 2015 spring summer show, ‘Marni’s Flower Market’, also encompassed another of my favoured fashion influences, traditional Japanese styles. The ebb and flow of the floaty fabrics is often contrasted with the meticulous structure of the garments, this natural movement while at the same time slightly rigid structure is something that I have found myself drawn to for a while now. I’ve often said that I’m not a follower of trends, but I do like to work them into my wardrobe once I feel that they are in some way reminiscent of my own personal style. So I look forward to welcoming spring, warmer weather, and carefully curated ‘70s styled outfits. I’m thinking Bianca Jagger and her trademark white suit, or any of her outfits in the Studio 54 days for that matter.

Síomha.